2019 Innovation Topics

2019 Innovation Contest Topics

Internet of Things (IoT)

IoT is a broad category that covers the use of sensors in order to improve the built environment. IoT sensors include a wide variety of devices include sound, video, pictures, vibration, temperature, location and more. IoT sensors are used to collect data that can be used to improve a process, technique, add capability or create a new service or function.

Sustainable Engineering

Sustainability is a wide-ranging topic that covers everything from carbon reduction to improved energy use and generation. It includes LEED certification as well as Envision standard. Innovation comes from creating new methods, materials, reuse or business practices that help the Civil Engineering built environment operate in a more sustainable way.

Next Generation Transportation

Transportation is going through dramatic changes including electric and hybrid vehicles. It includes self-driving as well as connected vehicles. It covers the use of information systems like mapping and GPS to improve the systems. It also includes mass transit on both the large scale (rail, mass transit) but also on the disruptive models like Uber & Lyft as well as cars-to-go, bike and scooter rental (Lime, Byrd, etc.).

Improvements in Clean Water

Many parts of the world do not have access to clean water or good water treatment systems. The innovations include taking the water systems off-grid, creating new technology to provide clean water, improve sanitation and reduce disease. Solutions include new ways to disinfect, new models for hyper-local solutions, huge reductions in cost, technology and models and methods for improving water systems.

New Construction Materials & Methodology

Recently, there have been huge advances in materials. Civil Engineering needs to incorporate these advancements to meet the Grand Challenge of 50% reduction in lifecycle costs. Innovations in the use of materials, use of new materials, new construction methods because of new materials etc. are all included in this category. Also included is the consideration of building in harsh environments (Under water, floating and coastal flooded) as well as non-terrestrial applications like Mars, the moon, and asteroids. Improvements in construction methodology, especially because of new materials is also included.

Special Award Category: Entrepreneurial Award

While not a separate topic, any applicant within any of the above 5 topic areas can indicate that they would like their submission to be scored for its entrepreneurial offerings and be considered for the Entrepreneurial award. These submissions will be scored by how well the submitter understands the problem they are solving, by demonstrating how important the problem is to potential users, and did they come up with a meaningful solution that is a disruptive or skip generation solution, rather than an incremental one. From a market perspective, is this problem pervasive with market wide challenges, and is this solution different from the status quo or competitive solutions? From a financial perspective does the submitter recognize the costs to develop the solution, take it to market, and have enough value that the customer ROI (Return On Investment) makes economic adoption sense.